13 Barcelona Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise Reviews

I expected a lot of activities going on all the time since the ship is so big, yet the majority of the floors are for cabins, leaving not a ton of public space for the 6,000+ passengers onboard. Buffet, shows, pool, jacuzzi, everything is ... Read More
I expected a lot of activities going on all the time since the ship is so big, yet the majority of the floors are for cabins, leaving not a ton of public space for the 6,000+ passengers onboard. Buffet, shows, pool, jacuzzi, everything is jam packed of people. There's a line to get breakfast in the morning and to do any of the activities (wave rider, rock climbing wall, zipline, ect). Each port is flooded with fellow cruisers amounting to a small town leading to crowded sightseeing and more lines to wait in. Not my kind of vacation and definitely not relaxing. I won't be back on a big ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
About us - Our group consisted of two couples and two friends, based in Florida, Puerto Rico and Japan. DW and I had a deck eight/near aft/port side balcony cabin as did the other couple. The two friends had an interior cabin nearby. ... Read More
About us - Our group consisted of two couples and two friends, based in Florida, Puerto Rico and Japan. DW and I had a deck eight/near aft/port side balcony cabin as did the other couple. The two friends had an interior cabin nearby. Pre-Cruise Barcelona, 11/24-28/2010 Five out of six in our group met at JFK on the evening of November 24 for our American Airlines flight to Barcelona. The other one was already on his way from Japan. The flight was overbooked but otherwise uneventful. Upon arrival at BCN we were met by our friend from Japan who had arrived earlier, and by our driver from carsdeluxe.es. We had booked a mini-van with this company and they provided outstanding service at a reasonable price. The driver graciously waited while we got some cash and provided commentary en route to the hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Europark on Aragó street. This is a few blocks from Passeig de Gracia, a comfortable distance away from Las Ramblas but still only a 20-minute walk away. This lovely hotel was even closer to the magnificent Sagrada Familia Cathedral. We loved this hotel. It is new, modern, efficient, with competent staff and a highlighted by a great full breakfast. Free Wi-fi, common use PCs, a gym, bar and pool round up the nice facilities. The rooms are comfortable, private and secure. The weather was cold, ranging between the low 40's to the low 50's with clear skies. From our great base at Europark we eagerly explored Barcelona by foot, although on our last night we did both the red and blue hop on/hop off routes to cover what we couldn't by foot. We mostly skipped lunches and dinners were initially had at a tapas place called Txapelas on Passeig de Gracia (good enough). Then we tried the nearby La Rita restaurant which we were looking forward to because of the good reviews, but in the end it sucked. On our last night we were recommended the Citrus restaurant on de Gracia and that was satisfactory. Barcelona's attractions are well covered here and elsewhere so I won't be repetitive only to say that we immensely enjoyed the city and no, we did not have any security issues. Embarkation Day, 11/28/2010 We checked out at 11:00 am and our carsdeluxe.es van arrived shortly thereafter as scheduled. We had another wonderful driver who had to use magic to load all that luggage and six passengers on that mini-van. We were among the first few to arrive at the pier. There were plenty of porters already available. The check-in and boarding was efficient and we were having lunch at the Windjammer by noon. A brief side note here: we immediately noticed how the Windjammer's menu was adjusted to accommodate the Spanish passengers who were the bulk of the guests during the prior months. They obviously had a lot of left over Spanish ingredients and included stuff like Paella and Callos during our first week. We happily indulged and found the ship's paella to be better than any other found on shore, at any of our stops. Kudos to the Windjammer chef. Our beautiful ship The Great Adventure of the Seas is now over nine years old. I was on her last year and the difference in wear was noticeable. The crew, however, was hard at work bringing her back to shape. For example, the wooden railings in our balconies where replaced with new ones during our first week. Carpets were being replaced here and there. Painting was ongoing throughout the ship. None of these maintenance activities were disrupting. The ship suffered from no failures, mechanical or otherwise. Well, an aft port side elevator was stuck with seven people in it but that was promptly resolved. The ship sailed fast and steady in heavy seas and strong gales and we always felt safe. Captain Holmes and his crew did a great job under sometimes difficult conditions. Our Cruise Director was Anthony Richards, from Canada. A young guy who we found to be a great person and who worked hard to keep us entertained, especially during all those sea days. He got personally involved in untangling certain shore excursion snafus we encountered later. His staff was excellent as well. The staterooms became available at 1:00 PM. We could not have asked for a more wonderful stateroom attendant than our great Natalia, from Costa Rica. Very friendly and very efficient. You asked and she delivered, in spades. Our luggage was delivered later in the afternoon. The passenger mix was diverse. Mostly North Americans with a healthy dose of Puerto Ricans, then Brits and Germans and small numbers of other nationalities. I found that everyone got along just fine and the Cruise Director and the International Ambassadors and even some entertainers made sure everyone understood what was going on at ll times, in whatever language. Anthony's Spanish is pretty good. For sail away, since it was so cold outside, we skipped the pool party and spent it warm and comfy in the interior bars. First night on board We had My Time Dining. The lovely My Time Dining Coordinator was Juliana, from Romania. At the beginning, she was on the defensive, having to deal with a crush of new passengers biding for the preferable times. After a somewhat chaotic first night, and once she got to know the pax, everything ran smoothly. We got most of the times we requested but soon we settled on a time more aligned with the normal late sitting anyway. I guess they just had too many people on My Time. But, as we say in the Caribbean, no problem. We were fortunate to land a great waitress, Anca, who would be our main host for the duration of the cruise. I cannot say enough about Anca (Romania). We were looking forward to spending each evening with her. She's beautiful, smart, quick, very hospitable, efficient...we wanted to adopt her, as did the other tables she waited on. She was ably assisted by her compatriot Dragos the first week and then by Christian on the second week. Both were charming, helpful and an asset to the team. Anca's husband, also named Drago (or similar) was nearby and assisted when necessary. He proved to be a very sharp guy and I am happy that he's Anca's other half. This couple is going places. The dining room staff was rounded up by our new best friend, the bar waiter Mr. Bobb (Grenadines), who handled his job with joy and pleasure. We had a running joke that for a cruise this long, we were doomed to run out of food at some point so we had to take in as much as we could early on and stock up on calories. Anca sure helped us with that. Dining was always a pleasure even if they never got my steaks right. I kept insisting on "medium well" and it always came back well done+. My table mates usually ordered two notches down on doneness, and that usually worked out. All in all the MDR experience was satisfactory. I am amazed that they were able to keep the salads and fruits "fresh" throughout our cruise. Next: day two - Toulon (Provence), France Oh, France. I was so looking forward to this visit. I even took some French lessons. I was warned that I should head inland to get to know her better, but my group couldn't agree on a tour. The thing is, to get to the interior, it is a long way off the docks and up and beyond the cliffs. So, we settled on taking the little train around town. I am sure that during the summer this place is hopping, but today it was sleepy if not depressing. Okay, it was cold out and everything, but you would think that with a lousy economy this town would be more welcoming to 3,000+ tourists. It is what it is, I guess, so we did the best we could. At the end I told the girls in our group that I wanted to see the French Navy museum so they went off looking for stores while I soaked in the history of the once mighty fleet. The museum was smallish compared to the American military museums, but interesting nonetheless. At least I got to use some of my very limited Francais and was able to ask questions like where's the toilet and what not. I joined up with the girls and we strolled along the promenade back to the ship. Did I mentioned it was freakin' cold and we couldn't wait to get back on board? As a side, the other couple in our group broke away at one point and scored a decent meal at a Moroccan joint. I'm not going to second guess RCI in picking this port for a call except that it must be better in the summer. Having said that, I am not giving up on France because of this port. On with life and day three. Day Three - Ajaccio, Corsica The ship docks right in town so Ajaccio was easy to do. Although not France-France, as some would say, this port made up for the last one. As some may know this is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Like most places we've been to so far, many shops and museums close for a good part of the afternoon so we had to rush a little bit to the Bonaparte home to see it before it shut down. That was a neat tour. We then strolled along the main avenues, had some local coffee at a cute cafe, and I went back to the ship for lunch while the ladies shopped. Today was an overcast and cold day and we set sail for Palma de Mallorca before dark. We had an ominous sea ahead of us and our first bumpy night. Of course, never as bumpy as the Brilliance's. Day Four - Palma de Mallorca Beliiiiindaaaa! Beliiiiindaaaaa! For this beautiful port we had bought the ship's bus shuttle into town. That started out wrong. Belinda was the ground bus dispatcher and I don't know if it was her fault but the loading of the buses was a complete mess. Everyone was calling out for her for guidance and she was running all over the place like a second lieutenant under fire. Thankfully, Anthony Richards, the CD, came down and helped sort out the mess. The problem was that they were selling shuttle tickets as people boarded, holding up the people who already had tickets. In hindsight, I would just have taken the public bus into town, the hop on/hop off, or if I felt like walking the three or four miles into town, I would do that too. The shuttle drops you off across the magnificent cathedral. We first toured the adjacent Royal Palace before it closed. This is an active royal family residence with military guards and everything. Beautiful home. Next was the cathedral and that was worth the port call all by itself. The old town is easy to walk around and had many neat stores, cafes, homes, nooks and crannies. This became our favorite port of the cruise. The shuttle buses were waiting for our return later in the afternoon for the painless ride back to the ship. Day Five - Cartagena The ship also docked right in town at this port. We initially strolled along the promenade and visited the Naval Archeology Museum. After that we were at a loss on what to do. We wanted to walk around the town but the massive wall between the promenade and the city kind of discouraged it. Luckily we climbed the stairs and made a right as we topped the wall. I say lucky because by going that way, we were able to catch a panoramic elevator to the high end of the city, from which we were able to walk down hill most of the time. If you start exploring the city from the other end then you would be doing it uphill. First we saw the hilltop castle with great views of the city. From there we "discovered", or rather, located, the famed Roman Theater ruins down below. It was an easy, lovely walk down and around the hill, ending up at City Hall. Across from that was the Roman Theater Museum and the access to the theater itself. It is well worth the nominal admission fee. After visiting the ruins we still had time for some shopping and even a paella lunch. It was a great day all in all. Night five - Straights of Gibraltar During the evening it was announced that we would be crossing the straights from 4:00 to 5:00 AM the next morning. Of course it would be dark, but those so inclined could see the shore lights of Africa and Europe and maybe the outline of the rock at that time. My buddy and I agreed to meet above the peek-a-boo bridge at four. He, bless his heart, forgot to turn his clock back so was up and about since 3:00 AM. I was awaken by bright lights near the ship. I couldn't believe the ship traffic around us - at night and in howling winds. That was a little scary. I bundled up and headed for deck 12. Boy what a blast of cold air. I forced my way to the front of the gym and lasted there like a minute. I was the only idiot exposed like that. As I walked back to shelter I saw a bunch of people huddled inside the Viking Crown, probably laughing at me. All I could see was lights on either side of the ship. No Rock of Gibraltar (we were past it at that point). Better sense prevailed so I headed to the Viking Crown myself, where I met my buddy. We went outside just off the 19th Hole bar and that semi-sheltered area was a lot better than the peek-a-boo bridge area. In the picture that my buddy took of me I look like I'm frozen dead. We had enough excitement and headed down to the Promenade Cafe for some coffee and then back to bed. I related the little adventure to my wife who congratulated me and remarked that if I had gotten her out of bed she would have tossed me overboard. Day six - Day at Sea Sun! But still cold out. I didn't care. Precisely at noon I went up to deck 11, stripped down to my board shorts, ordered a margarita and laid down on the wooden deck by the main pool. The people around me thought I was nuts. I still didn't care. I was getting tired of the inside of the ship. The CD staff was trying to rally up the very thin pool crowd (all bundled up except for one nut), and did the line dancing class and finished with the Men's Sexy Legs Contest. By then I already had three margaritas so I accepted my wife's challenge and volunteered for that. I didn't win anything (which is a good thing considering the award categories) but it was a riot of fun. It had only been twelve hours since I had made a fool of myself in front of a crowd. Unfortunately, our Indian summer was very short lived as it was getting windy, cold and dark real fast. But at least many of us got some fresh air. By this time, those who preferred to remain inside all of the time were developing the soon to be widespread "Adventure Cough". Day seven - Las Palmas, Gran Canaria We arrived around 1:00 PM on day seven at this port. By now the temperatures were finally beginning to become consistently milder. We had booked an island tour which included a visit to Pico Bandana with a view of the volcano caldera, and up and down the interior to the town of Teror and then back to Las Palmas with plenty to spare for shopping. The ship's tour cost $35.00 and was well worth it. The island has some interesting history and interesting sights. Once again, the ladies stayed on shore for shopping while I headed back to the ship after the tour. I got off again and did walk around the port area a bit after a snack on board and snapped pictures of some very interesting vessels. The ship didn't leave until later that night so people had a chance to experience the nightlife, if the wanted. Us, we had an 8:30 PM Portofino table waiting. Portofino was fine, as usual. We always do it on sail away from San Juan so a near sail away from Gran Canaria was almost as beautiful. Day eight - Tenerife Here we also booked a ship tour to the interior. This is where my family comes from so I really wanted to see the town of La Laguna. We had a competent tour guide full of history who made a good balance in addressing the passengers both in English and Spanish. La Laguna was an interesting place. Perhaps not as pretty as the other Spanish towns/ports, but full of history itself. I am glad that I was able to get my mom the silver crucifix she always wanted from the San Francisco Cathedral. There I said a prayer for my dearly departed family who never got to go back to the Canaries, especially my father, and asked for a safe passage across the Atlantic during the upcoming week. This was a special moment for me because my great grandfather had done the same thing a hundred years earlier before he and his brothers departed for America. Once again, the ladies stayed in Santa Cruz shopping while I wandered around the harbor side. Our great Adventure of the Seas was docked at the far end of the dock and it was quite a long walk, especially while hauling the ladies' coats which were not needed anymore. For sail away we went on the helicopter deck. From there we could see that the crew had a little celebration of sorts going on in the bridge, possibly because they were happy to be finally sailing BACK TO THE CARIBBEAN! Six days at sea I am not going to break down our crossing day by day as this review is already long enough. I was really looking forward to six days of relaxation after being toured out for the past week and few days. I personally think that it is preferable to do the transatlantic cruises in the westbound direction because of this. Well, if you live in the Americas, anyway. Before arriving in Gran Canaria the Spanish air traffic controllers had gone on strike so that messed up the exchange of entertainers for our last leg. The juggler/comedian barely made it on board and the airline left all his stuff behind but he still managed to pull off his act quite well. The boat was still rocking and rolling for the first couple of days at sea. Pool people like me were defying the elements to stay outdoors. It was getting too stuffy indoors and the "Adventure Cough" had spread around considerably. It was largely noticeable while waiting for show times. At night, I resorted to shutting of the cabin a/c and opening the balcony door to get some fresh air into our stateroom. By this time my wife had caught on the cold so this helped her cough a lot. I did not get it until disembarkation day. I am amazed at how the galley crew was able to keep the food fresh. We never lacked fruits, vegetables, eggs and other easily perishable stuff like that. Once again, kudos to them. Since sea days are more lazy, we stopped having breakfast in the MDR and started using the Windjammer. Six sea days of big breakfasts, bigger than necessary, really. I had also worried about keeping from getting bored during all those sea days, but the crew did a great job with the activities and we finally got to see and do everything around the ship, to include the rock climbing wall which we never had done before. After the third sea day we were enjoying warm weather so it was pool-hot tub-drinking and dancing Caribbean style from here on out. I am surprised that so many people still elected to stay indoors so we always had plenty of room around the pool decks. Oh, what a great time we had. A fourteen night cruise is just long enough and it has to end at some point. I got up early on the last morning to watch as the ship glided home into the beautiful San Juan harbor. What a great view of the old city as the ship sails in. As we approached the dock I saw only one person onshore meeting the ship and handling the lines. That was a sign of things to come during disembarkation morning. The disembarkation "issues" have by now been very well documented in CruiseCritic, so I won't spoil my post with my experience there. I have not much to complain about anyway since I live in San Juan and didn't have to stress about missed flights like most other people did. I'll just say that I am sorry that it happened but December 12 was not a typical turnaround for the Adventure of the Seas. This was quite an experience for me and from now on I'll view the Adventure of the Seas, its crew, the Atlantic Ocean, and on east to the Canaries, Africa and Europe with a more enlightened outlook. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was our third transatlantic cruise, the first two having been with Celebrity on their Millennium and Century. Using that experience as a standard, this cruise did not quite measure up. It could be that RC is doing some product ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic cruise, the first two having been with Celebrity on their Millennium and Century. Using that experience as a standard, this cruise did not quite measure up. It could be that RC is doing some product differentiation, allowing its Royal Caribbean brand to slide, while promoting its Celebrity brand as their 'premium' cruise line. Or, it could be that the very large newer ships in the RC line are posing new service/management issues. Then again, maybe it's both. This cruise left from Barcelona. For us, this was deja vu because we've sailed from Barcelona on two previous occasions. Embarkation in Barcelona has always been a model of efficiency and superior service. This embarkation was no exception. Incidentally, if you have an opportunity to spend time in Barcelona, do so. It's a wonderful city; one of Europe's very best, in our experience. From Barcelona, the Adventure of the Seas visited several Mediterranean ports (Toulon, Ajaccio, Mallorca, Cartagena) and two Canary Island ports, before setting out across the Atlantic to San Juan... 14 days in all. The selection of ports was very good, but the timing of some of the visits left room for improvement. For example, we visited Toulon on a Monday. Does RC not know that the French normally work Saturdays and take Mondays off? Disappointingly, this interesting port city was closed! This experience was replayed in Cartagena. Our favorite port was Ajaccio in Corsica, and we plan to return there for a land holiday. Onboard, the Adventure of the Seas is a marvel -- lots of room, lots of glitz, and an excellent smooth performer in rough seas. The maintenance on this ship is superb. Our stateroom was on deck 6, roughly amid-ship, with a balcony. It was excellent; and the service from the stateroom attendant was flawless. Some guests were complaining that their rooms were being serviced annoyingly late in the day. Later, we were to learn that RC had a lot of 'new recruits' among the crew on this voyage, and they were running daytime training sessions for the rookies... who were expected to catch up after class, I guess. Anyway, the problem was affecting some staterooms, and quite a few of the bars. Until the evening hours, fully half the bars were not open, and quite a few of the bar-tenders had difficulty mixing some of the drinks that were listed in the bar menus. The dining room was mediocre in many respects. On the first day aboard, we arrived at our reserved table for 6 to learn that it had been assigned to 8 guests. Anyway, the problem was addressed for the second evening, and all affected parties seemed satisfied. But, how can this kind of rookie mistake happen? Let's move on to the food. The quality of the entrees was inconsistent -- some evenings it was superb; some evenings it was difficult to choose an acceptable entree from the day's menu. Inconsistency! But the deserts were consistently bad. Indeed, we noted that the desert offerings at the buffet were much better than those being offered in the dining room. Incidentally, our table service was excellent; probably the best we've ever experienced. But we did note that some of the guests at nearby tables were not so fortunate. We used the buffet for breakfasts and lunches. The quality and choice of food was very good cruise fare. The only negative was the service, in terms of speed of clearing tables, etc. We did not frequent any of the extra-charge restaurants. And, speaking of costs, the cost of alcoholic beverages has been creeping up at RC. The cheapest bottle of wine that I could find was $27 + an automatic 15% gratuity. This is for a bottle of wine that I could have purchased for the equivalent of $6 in Barcelona. The activities aboard were typical of any very large cruise ship. We can't imagine anyone being bored. Still, this area of service was not without its problems. The gymnasium is probably too small for 3100 passengers, with much of the more popular exercise machines (treadmills, for example) being impossibly over-demanded. Also, the quality of the entertainment aboard was a huge disappointment. Except for an excellent Ice Show and one entertainer (an Elton John impersonator) the entertainment was dreadful, dreadful, dreadful. Generally, we enjoyed the cruise very much, and I have chosen to focus on the areas needing improvement. Would I repeat this cruise? Probably not; but that may be attributable to the very bad disembarkation that we experienced on arrival in San Juan (home port for the Adventure of the Seas). The ship was scheduled to clear port at about 7:30 AM and we booked a San Juan tour, since our flight only left at 4:00 PM. However, the ship did not clear until after 9:00 AM, and then the problems began in earnest. Passengers were off-loaded into a large metal building where, in 80 F heat, and without water or bathroom facilities, we stood in-line for three hours to clear US customs. During this experience, NO Royal Caribbean crew were in evidence. I can't believe that this is normal procedure in the ship's American home port! Welcome to the USA. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We boarded Adventure of the Sea on 21st June 2010 at Barcelona. We arrived approximately at 2pm and only waited for around half an hour before we could board. As we stayed in The Royal Suite we were escorted to our room by our Concierge. ... Read More
We boarded Adventure of the Sea on 21st June 2010 at Barcelona. We arrived approximately at 2pm and only waited for around half an hour before we could board. As we stayed in The Royal Suite we were escorted to our room by our Concierge. Upon arrival we had a dozen roses and a bottle of moet champagne complimentary waiting for us. There were five people in our party and I have to say, the Suite was fantastically sized. It was complete with a grand piano in the living room, a large sofa, a large television and a hot tub on the balcony. There was also a fantastic mini bar with loads of glasses and cutlery available for use. The bed was beautiful and could easily sleep between 2-3 people and was shaped circular rather than a standard rectangular bed. As there were five of us the sofa was completed by staff at night into a sofa bed. The bathroom was absolutely massive and included a hot tub, shower which could provide enough space for five people and also a sauna. The lighting in the bathroom was also fantastic and included mirrors with lights. I would recommend anybody to stay in the Royal Suite if possible, room service is available 24 hours a day and all the staff are excellent and provide as much service as they can. As for the food on the ship, you could not ask for more. It had every type of food you could ask for and there were dining rooms with available food 24 hours a day. The entertainment on board was also fantastic, the ice skating show is definitely worth going to watch and is one of the best things to see. The duty free shops are also worth looking around on. The swimming pools are lovely on deck except they are salt water pools which turned me off slightly but apart from that are very nice. I would recommend anybody to take this cruise, whether you are single, couples, families, friends, old or young there is something for everybody, not a moment of boredom. I also feel like the staff on this ship were fantastic and genuinely loved doing there job! Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Since we're from the UK, we flew from London to Barcelona (booked our own tickets). We were travelling with friends. The taxi from BCN to the harbour was about 20 minutes and I think it cost about €30. From there, we checked in - ... Read More
Since we're from the UK, we flew from London to Barcelona (booked our own tickets). We were travelling with friends. The taxi from BCN to the harbour was about 20 minutes and I think it cost about €30. From there, we checked in - queued for about 20 minutes which we haven't had before, but were soon on board. We had nice rooms - 1252 and 1260, room review below. The concierge room is a nice touch with free alcoholic drinks (thr only one's you'll find on board!) and nibbles in early evening. The concierge herself - I think it was Vanessa, was superb, giving us lots of useful advice and booking restaurants. Food on board was generally of a high standard. Main restaurant was very good, as was the speciality restaurant and Jonny Rockets. The buffet was so so, and there was always trouble getting a table. The outdoor areas seemed really busy all the times (except when in port)although there were hardly any kids on board (it was during term time). The seating areas reserved for the suites is a nice touch. All the bar staff were fun - in fact ALL the staff were excellent - RCI clearly spend time and money on training. We always felt we were special! Tried my luck in the casino (and won several hundred dollars!)one evening. Also visited the nightclub on a couple of occasions - we made a request to the DJ, but never heard the song. Went back to the DJ booth later, to find it completely empty - they were playing a cd of a pre-mixed selection of songs!! Overall, this is a huge ship with plenty to do. In fact, in five nights, we never saw a show, and never saw the ice skating rink. Adventure is an older ship, and I'd like to try one of the newer ships next. RCI have a good offering, the headline price was reasonable (about $2,700 for the two of us), but drinks are expensive - we ran up a $1,000 bill quite easily (cheap wine was nearly $50 a bottle after Spanish tax and 15% gratuity). Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
This was a 4 night cruise from Barcelona to Toulon and Ibiza (Saturday overnight at port). We are a family of 4. My 2 kids are 3.5 year old twins. I did cruise when I was a child with my parents (on the Eugenio C and Royal Viking Sky) ... Read More
This was a 4 night cruise from Barcelona to Toulon and Ibiza (Saturday overnight at port). We are a family of 4. My 2 kids are 3.5 year old twins. I did cruise when I was a child with my parents (on the Eugenio C and Royal Viking Sky) but this was my first modern cruise with my family as an adult. My wife had never cruised before and thought cruises were boring, plus she was afraid of sea sickness. So, this January while looking for summer vacation offers, I found what looked like a good deal for this 4-night cruise. It fell on a holiday weekend, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to check on cruising. I talked my wife into it, and booked it directly from the RCCL page. Special pricing for kids was the cherry on the cake. Living in Madrid, we tried to use the "Puerto de Atocha" service, only to find that it was not very well understood by Royal Caribbean travel agent nor by Renfe. In theory, it will give you a discounted price on the train to Barcelona, but it is not as cheap as buying a standard ticket online. It should also allow you to check-in your luggage in Madrid, a convenience I was willing to pay for. But the RCCL agency could not get us the tickets and told us to buy directly at RENFE, who on their side were not aware of such service at all. In the end, we bought a standard train ticket on the web and carried our luggage to Barcelona. We arrived at port around 12:00 PM. It was peak boarding at that time. There were lines for luggage drop (under the hot sun) and lines for security control (partly covered). And then, huge line inside for checking-in. We waited more than one hour until we got our sea pass cards and were told that we could proceed directly to the cabin. Before boarding, we did a quick stop at the duty-free in the port and were given the colored plastic bracelets for the kids. These bracelets allow the ship personnel to identify and bring them to our evacuation station in case of emergency (in case the kids are not with us at such time). We entered the ship and were not given any instructions on how to go to our cabin. We went to deck 2 only to find that the deck is cut into 2 non-communicated areas. And our outside cabin was on the other side, for sure. So, we went up to deck 5 as we were told the reception was there. I had read about the Royal Promenade and knew what to expect, but while we walked through it, my wife was in awe. It suddenly hit her that this cruise would be something unexpected. The wow factor had set in. Our outside cabin was ready. It was small, but perfectly ok. The bathroom surprisingly roomy. We left our things and decided to go for lunch, as it was already 2 o'clock. But we decided to pass on the Royal Promenade again, as I wanted to buy my Unlimited Soda package. We also wanted to check the wines, but decided not to go for it, as 3 bottles seemed too much for only 3 nights we planned do eat on the MDR. For the kids, we decided on lemonade as it was healthy and free. This ended up being a very good choice, as most waiters would give them coke, if they wanted, on my unlimited soda account. We went to the WindJammer for lunch. What a beautiful place, with gorgeous views of the port and city. However, getting a table was impossible. We asked a waiter and he shrugged. No tables were available, there was nothing he could do. We had to look for people about to leave and secure a table, trying to outsmart other people on the same situation (looking for tables like us). The WindJamer cafe is one of the most popular places on the ship and it should be twice as big. Really. It is very stressful to get a table at peak time on lunch and this situation repeated during the entire trip. The food buffet was quite good, although not sophisticated. Burgers, french fries, pasta, salads and more. Everything tasted good and was uncomplicated eating. Specially good for my kids. They even got Shepard's Pie that they love. I liked the Sushi but also tried a little bit of everything. During our trip, we ate breakfast and lunch in the WindJammer every day. At night, we ate at the main dining room. We were seated with a Spanish family and they were enthusiastic to see us and the kids every night. The food there was quite good actually. Not the best gourmet food in the world, but who cares. I have read some comments here of people who didn´t like the food, but can´t understand why. There was always choice and most of what I tried was perfectly ok, served hot and tasted good. The service was really great and the servers were always there for us. When my kids didn´t eat the pizza, they brought another dish. We got a bottle of wine that lasted and was served through the entire trip. One night we decided to check the Johnny Rockets. I have mixed feelings about this one. While the place was cool (a bit empty the night we were there), the burger was soaked in oil. The paper wrapping the sandwich was so wet with oil that it stick to the bread. I don't know if this is standard Johnny Rockets fare, but to me it was a bit disgusting. The Milk Shake we ordered for the kids was nothing special either (but not bad). But my kids loved to see the waiters dancing and in no time they were up and trying to follow the dance as well. We spent a lot of time on the pool with the kids. The pools were kind of small, one of them was reserved for adults. But they were perfectly ok. The pool area is usually crowded, but there is always some place to sit (sometimes very far from the pool itself). It has a bar that only serves drinks and is always crowded. I would love to see some tapas served there as well. This is surely missing and a suggestion for RCI. Please, give us a pool bar that serves some food. Some people would bring food from the WindJammer and sit on tables by the pool deck. Of course, if you don´t get the tables early they are never available. To be honest, I was disappointed with shopping in the ship. The stores on the Royal Promenade had lots of jewelry and also perfumes/cosmetics. They were not duty free, which kinds of defeat the purpose of these stores (I understand that in most cruises they are tax free, but not in the European Union cruises). Non residents could reclaim VAT though. The souvenirs on the souvenir shop were dull. I expected more and would surely had bought a lot of trash (I always do). But it didn´t have anything that caught my attention. They should check real souvenir stores around the globe to get interesting items. Stores like Why!!! in Paris or even VIP's in Madrid have lots of interesting trash. My kids wanted chewing gum and it was not available. Also, I forgot to bring razors and they only sold a pack of 6 horrible BIC razors. We did enjoy the overall feeling of the promenade though. The cafes and the people watching, the parades and the parties. We spent a lot of time there. We used the Adventure Ocean program for our kids. And they loved it. We went on 2 off-ship tours alone, leaving the kids playing. When we were planning the cruise, the kids program really helped us decide to go for it, as we needed some time for us alone. Having a place with supervised activities for the kids has become a requirement for our vacations. And it is the reason we are going to do it again and again. Pirate night was the most amazing thing. My kids loved to invade (parade through) the Royal Promenade. They still talk about it today. I have it on video, and they want to watch it again and again. Not to mention that they want me to buy pirate costumes for them. We did run into a number of minor issues that I think should not have happened. They will not prevent us to come back, but I do hope that RCI will improve on them. The first one was related to our pre-booked (and paid) tour of Bormes Le Mimosa in Spanish. This was programmed on day 2 of our trip. I got a call on day 1 evening (phone message) and a card in my room telling me that the tour had been cancelled for lack of interest. I went to the Explorer´s desk and was told that only the English tour to Bormes would happen. So I told him to book us there. In fact, I thought they should have just transferred us to this tour first, and later give us the option to cancel if we didn´t speak English. Well, of course we do, but the person in the Explorer´s desk was unable to book us in the tour. He told me it was full, sorry. I was quite unhappy, thought about taking the bus to Toulon instead, but decided to check from my room later the other tours available. And there, the surprise. We were able to book the Bormes tour though the TV system (the same one I was told was full). The next day, on the bus, there were at least 10 empty seats. And the tour was in both Spanish and English. Our second issue happened when we wanted to leave the kids on the Adventure Ocean for the first time in order to leave the ship for the tour. They are small kids, 3.5 years old. When we were going to drop them off, they started crying. Well, really, I think that every kid of this age will cry the first time they go to an unknown place and their parents leave. I've seen this happen at first day at school, at day care centers, at skiing clubs, even at their grandmas home. But we were told that we could not leave the kids if they were crying. Now, I understand this policy for older kids. But really, for 3 year old kids? I am sure that every kid will cry for 5 minutes and then will play. Anyway, we spent one hour trying to calm down our kids, but in the end, after almost losing our tour, we called the supervisor who let them in crying. Later he told us that in five minutes after we left they were playing. Obviously. I think this policy should be revised for smaller 3-5 year old kids. The third issue was at the end of the cruise. The last evening, I checked my bill on TV and everything was ok. We were leaving the next morning at 8:00 AM. So, everything went smooth, but before leaving I grabbed the printed bill that was slid under the door in the early morning and found out I had been charged US$ 70,00 for pool towels. Well, we had taken new towels every day, and every day before we left the pool we gave them back at the towel station. All towels. So, I went to the reception to complain. There was a huge line, but I waited. A few minutes later, a woman came out and asked if anyone on the line had billing problems. About 10 people, I included, raised their hands. She said "Towels?". And we all replied "Yeah" in a chorus. Seems like that they do not have the towel issue well controlled. She proceeded to remove the charge for everyone of us, but I wonder how many people only noticed too late that they had been charged. Honestly, I hope RCI improves this methodology so they don´t keep mistakenly charging people like this. Other annoyances we found was that the speaker system announcements on the corridor that could be heard from the room. There is an in-room switch to turn off announcements, but it doesn´t help, as we can hear from outside. On day 2, announcements started at 7:00 AM when the ship docked in Toulon and they repeat it in 100 languages (maybe 4 or 5). Also, when cruising, there was a constant vibration in the room that was quite perceptive. It did not prevent sleep, but was annoying. I don´t know if this is specific to our room location (deck 2, aft) but we felt it in other places on the ship as well (specially strong on the Main Dining Room). But don´t get me wrong. These issues were really small compared to the amount of good time, relax, enjoyment and happiness we got from this small trip. My wife, who did not want to cruise before, came back asking me to book another cruise this year. And she told me that she wanted to go on the same ship for at least 7 days. We loved the service on the ship. Even with the issues I mentioned above, I have to say that they were all solved in the end. And the waiters were great to us and to our kids. And the cabin guy was also very nice and efficient. Our room was always ready and cleaned. He helped us on everything we needed and quickly. We tipped extra to everyone of them. Bottom line, we are planning our next cruise already. With RCI again. My wife wanted to go on the same ship, but I am trying to convince her to switch to the Liberty of the Seas next year. Prices are higher, so we will see. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We booked a 5 night med cruise with cruise 1st for June 2010 on the Adventure of the Seas, sailing from Barcelona. Itinerary Barcelona, Nice, Sardinia, Sicily and back to Barcelona. We are an English couple in our early fifties and have ... Read More
We booked a 5 night med cruise with cruise 1st for June 2010 on the Adventure of the Seas, sailing from Barcelona. Itinerary Barcelona, Nice, Sardinia, Sicily and back to Barcelona. We are an English couple in our early fifties and have cruised before. The ship its self is breath taking in design, clean, modern, luxurious with a definite wow factor. The facilities are very good, plenty of choice for food and drink, enough sun beds even on days when every body is there (Sea Days) although we did have fun watching the different nationalities fighting over the ones in the best positions. The Royal Promenade with its "pavement cafes" English pub, Bar and shops is quite amazing with fantastic attention to detail, the beautiful "twister" sculpture and sweeping staircases, scenic elevators all just add to the wow factor of the ship its self. The Casino, themed to be a movie theatre in the thirties complete with glass floor encasing Dorothy's ruby slippers, the emerald city in the centre of the roulette wheel and other clever and interesting movie memorabilia is also well designed and fun area. There's a huge theatre, an ice rink (don't miss the ice show, its brilliant) and the formal dinning room which brings to mind the interior of the Titanic, as I said when it comes to attention to detail and luxury the design of the Adventure Of The Seas is top notch. But I'm afraid that is where the Wow ends. We boarded at 12 noon and as the rooms were not ready we were sent to the "Windjammer" buffet to enjoy lunch, there is always a large selection of food here, but unfortunately I choose Paella and with in three hours I was violently ill, not a good start. The stateroom (standard inside cabin, cheapest) was of a good design, clean and with everything you'd need. Shower quite big enough, plenty of storage for everything, fridge, T.V. with some film channels enough choice for most people and a pay per view option (we did not use), hair dryer, ice bucket (replenished often), fresh white towels (that arrive in the evening in the shape of cuddly toys on the bed-nice fun touch),rock hard bed but with good quality bedding (we both found bed too hard, unusual for me), air con that wasn't cold enough (even on full blast), laundry service, room service all the things you'd expect. We had no problems with the cabin or the staff who serviced it and left a generous tip. The entertainment-it is difficult on a ship carrying 30 different nationalities to organise suitable entertainment we understand this, language is going to be a huge problem. On board English is the first language and Spanish second with every one else pretty much uncatered for, the cruise director was obviously chosen for her linguistic ability and NOT for her entertainment skills which were limited. We were disappointed with the entertainment except for the absolutely fabulous ice show which is a must see, and it was disappointing that despite all the tickets for the shows being taken up people simply did not use them and the ice skaters played too quarter empty houses. (The shows are free but due to limited space by ticket only). Food-Except for the aforementioned paella the food on board was good, breakfast which we had in the Windjammer was presented as a great choice from a buffet, as much as you wanted and a great variety. Fruit juice, Tea and coffee were also served but here was our second bad experience, one morning a waiter poured hot coffee all down me as he reached over me to pour it for my husband. Soaking my white top and trousers with hot coffee. He looked shocked but did not apologise, I had to rush off and change, the ship did launder my clothes but no apology was had. In the evening we started the cruise eating in the main dining room, waiter service and delicious food, but we found the waiter so pushy trying to sell us wine (we don't drink), huffing when we didn't order his suggestions but made our choice from the menu and trying to get us to order "upgrade" food that was chargeable that after three nights we gave up on the restaurant and swapped to the Windjammer where you serve yourself from the self service buffet, which offered more choice and with no pressure. You could never go hungry on a cruise and this one was no exception. Drink - Tea and coffee are available free most of the time with soft drinks at breakfast and lunch, but for all other drinks you pay with your "sea card" which is linked to your debit or credit card. Drinks aren't cheap but then nothing on board is. Excursions- We didn't book any of the excursions, they were very expensive. Shops- The shops on board were dreadful, such a waste of space, expensive jewellery, tee shirts, a few teddy bears, the beautiful retail spaces are totally underutilized, sparse expensive stock. I did weaken and purchased a lovely silver roman glass ring which was supposed to have had pretty foils fused onto it, it was extremely pretty and at $49 (everything priced in dollars) not as over priced I thought as many of the other items, but to my disappointment within three days (and of course after I had arrived home) the decoration (the pattern of pretty foils) had almost all completely washed off, leaving plain green glass, such a disappointment. I would have returned it but don't trust them to either refund me or return the ring so would end up with nothing for my $49 plus tax. Itinerary- Nice (actually Villefranche) we didn't get off (as have visited area before many times), but apparently the nicest place to do so with easy access to Nice or Monaco. Sardinia- Not much to see in port but worth a quick hop off, (don't forget the Siesta time between 1pm-4pm) Sicily- Again not much to see in port, some shops, no bargains, we did find a nice but not really cheap jewellery shop where a pleasant man made tumble stone items which were at least hand made and not over priced. We didn't like the weird "busker" who had trained his cat to have white mice crawling all over it, strange and unsettling. Summing up- We felt that what really lets the ship down is the standard of the staff, the service we received was appalling for a cruise ship (we have experience), the staff were there to sell, sell, sell with no interest in the guests comfort or enjoyment. The staff were grumpy, tetchy and as in the example with the waiter who poured coffee over me, totally unprofessional. We came to the conclusion the staff must be "in training" with the good ones moving onto "better" ships in America and the dross staying in the med. If that isn't the case then the training these ones have received is substandard, in the past cruise staff have always "made" a cruise for us and we have always tipped accordingly but this time only the house keeping staff got any money from us. So Great ship shame about the staff. P.S. there is a $20 deposit for towels by pool, which is charged to your card, when you return towels this should be refunded to your account, but one lady was charged $60+tax for 3 towels on her final bill despite returning the towels ,beware ! (and she didn't notice until she got the bill out at the airport don't fancy her chances of a refund!) Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
This is our third sailing with RC. First was on the Navigator of the Seas a ok cruise. Second was on the Maiden Voyage 4 day to Labadee Extravaganza on Oasis of the Seas. Great ship lots of bumps on the road here. Substandard cruise ... Read More
This is our third sailing with RC. First was on the Navigator of the Seas a ok cruise. Second was on the Maiden Voyage 4 day to Labadee Extravaganza on Oasis of the Seas. Great ship lots of bumps on the road here. Substandard cruise director, just ok service though. Great service in Windjammer poor service in dining room. Great ship to be on though lots of freebies thrown in. Now on to review of Adventure of the Seas. Before the cruise stayed at Eurostar Grand Marina. The service here was great but the beds are rock hard. Also very expensive. Cant beat the location though everything including Los Rambles is within walking distance. If you cruise out of Barcelona make sure you take a day before and a day after to check out this great city. The people are great and very friendly and there is lots of stuff to see for free. Take a hop on hop off bus its a great buy. Embarkation. RC has this down we were on the ship within 1/2 hour great guidance by staff inside terminal lots of great direction. We cruised to Cannes, France, Florence and Pisa and Rome. Lots to do and see in these places. More on that in my port reviews. The ship itself was old but in pretty good shape standard Voyager class ship nicely decorated. The biggest opportunity here for RC in there extremely poor service and staff. Mercedes the cruise director was a very nice lady and very friendly she did everything bilingual since a lot of the crowd was Spanish not much wow with her though just ok. Some people don't like when a cruise director is bilingual but I think its good practice to respect the culture and people of Spain by speaking their language. In my experience the Spanish people are a very nice and family oriented folk. I fell in love with Barcelona because of that so I think its proper to speak both Catalan and Spanish (even though in my experience few people spoke Catalan, when they did they appreciated that I used the language).. Im also a drummer and percussionist with a big love for Latin music where there was plenty served up on this cruise. The band Musiclave was very good. Stateroom- We had a balcony stateroom and a good stateroom attendant Denis from St Vincent. He was the best thing on our cruise as far as service goes. The furniture on our balcony was awful you could find better chairs at a garage sale. It really was that bad. When I spend extra cash for the balcony I expect the furniture to be at least as nice as what I would put on my own balcony at home.The rest of the stateroom was nice and pretty spacious. The crew here was very disgruntled and I heard very vocal complaints about how poorly they are treated by RC. Not a happy bunch at all. Most said hi if you said hi first. But surely no wow and I think they were saying how because they feared their bosses and management. Surely not the way to get a crew to perform. I heard them gripe about how they had to pay for their uniforms and were only paid 25.00 per week. Not something I really want to hear on vacation. Dining-Only spent two days in the dining room food and service here was not very good. It wasn't bad there was just no wow. And I had our waiter actually tell me not to eat in the Windjammer because of poor service. I was floored by this comment the crew had already shared with me to much information (that I wasn't looking for I'm on vacation). But the Windjammer had pretty good service and the food was ok so that comment really put me off. The Royal Sirloin in the dining room was nothing more than the grilled steak from the windjammer with some nice salsa served on the side. The steak wasn't bad or anything like that. But it certainly was not on the level of being called Royal.The food here does not compare to what Ive gotten on Carnival though.Food was standard below average cruise fare,pretty good but nothing special. Deserts were the same thing equal whether you got it in the dining room or Windjammer. Matter of fact I got better service in the Windjammer on the Oasis of the Seas then I got in their dining room. RC is really lacking in dining room service (in my experience with them). The real advantage Royal Caribbean has over other cruise lines is they have shorter cruises to Europe. If the other cruise lines like Carnival picked up on this they would smoke Royal Caribbean. The shows- Royal Caribbean has the best ice shows at sea for sure. All that I have seen are very well done. But then again they have the only ice rinks at sea. The other productions were ok, nothing special though. I like the fact that they do have some very skilled variety show type acts involved. The talent they had on this ship was pretty good. Production shows put on by staff were ok. Just no wow.Carnivals shows put RC to shame as far asthe WOW factor. Meet the captain on board ship and he was really a great guy. Great personality and huge Canadian, Viking looking guy. Very jovial and friendly. As far as the perks of being a return cruiser Ive got to shake my head. The discount book I got was not worth the paper it was printed on. A couple decent deals but nothing of real significance. And boy they are really promoting the perks they are giving return cruisers. If anything they have taken more away than they have given back. And what happened with the turn down service and the little chocolate? May seem like a little thing but its all part of cruising. Plus I had to ask to have a couple towel animals whats up with that. Am I missing something here? Don't get me wrong I loved being in Europe and RC was ok but not enough to continue my business with them. This has been my third cruise with Royal and will perhaps have to be my last. I believe their staff is really the poorest I have seen in my limited experience. Some of this has to be due to upper management I believe. If you have a unhappy crew this many times can be tracked up the ladder. I will pay a little( or a lot) more now and go with Celebrity, Disney, and Princess. No big regrets about going on RC but I will take my cruise dollars some place else where I get better service from the crew. Remembering a guests name and hello and please and thank you goes a long way. Disembarkation was again a breeze RC has this down and is very well organized in getting people on and off the ship. Its the in between time that needs work. Stayed at the Renaissance Marriott in a Elite class room after the cruise. This hotel is superior if you are in Barcelona it would be good to check this place out. Far away from stuff but they do have a free shuttle that will take you into town and pick you up six hours later. Again it makes me a little sad to have to put my cruise dollars someplace else. But this is a investment of time and money. And with Royal Caribbean I am not getting a good return on investment so its time to move on. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
This was our 5th cruise, two previously with Royal Caribbean (RCI) two with Princess. Transfer from Barcelona Airport to the ship via pre aranged transport with RCI was smooth and efficient. We had a 30 minute wait at the ship in a long ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, two previously with Royal Caribbean (RCI) two with Princess. Transfer from Barcelona Airport to the ship via pre aranged transport with RCI was smooth and efficient. We had a 30 minute wait at the ship in a long queue for embarkation, possibly as so many passengers had arived at the same time, shortly after 12 noon. It seems the queue is much shorter nearer 2pm which is worth bearing in mind. The actual formalities on reaching the end of the queue are quich, especially if you register on-line as we did. Our stateroom was ready when we arived. We had chosen a Promenade View as at the time of booking no outside staterooms were available. These staterooms have a window to the centre of the ship but the amount of light is limited so you need a light on at all times.In addition, there is entertainment on the Promenade Deck some nights going on up to midnight. If you want an early night as we did for an early start next day for a tour, forget it! Also as you have the light on there is no privacy from the staterooms oposite. Frankly, save some money and book an inside cabin. The ship decor was to a generally high standard although we personally are not fans of 'modern art' which was much in evedence on this particular ship. The layout of the ship is similar to others in the RCI fleet with the addition of a climbing wall and ice skating area. The Promenade Deck area had some interesting themes such as bar areas, a 'cafe' open most of the day and shops. We found staff generally to be polite and friendly. Out Stateroom Attendant, Anthony, was delightful and shared several amuzing moments with us. He kept our stateroom imaculate. The dining arangements were as we had experienced previously with a choice of set dining or 'my time dining' where you dine at a time that suits you best. We choose the latter. Be aware, however, that RCI insist on all gratuities to be pain at the time of booking the cruise if you chhose 'my time dining'! Their argument is that in theory you could have a different waiter each night. The food in the Dining Room was to a high standard and well presented with a choice each evening. The self service Windjammer Cafe provides food to cover all tastes including an impressive variety of salads and of course sweets, fruit and cakes. Tea, coffee, cold 'tea' and lemonade (still tasty bitter lemon) are available. We ate here for breakfast and lunchtime if on board. Finding a seat was sometimes difficult at busy times. I found cold plates anoying; obviously this cools hot food! Entertainment in the full-sized theatre was varied with combinations of specialty acts and singers and dancers. Mercedes, the Cruise Director from Argentina,introduced all acts in both English and Spanish. We attended an excellent Ice Show. There was always a full programme of events throughout the day to keep passengers active. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We've recently finished the 5 night Western Mediterranean cruise, departing Barcelona on RC's Adventure of the Seas. As we had also done a Western Caribbean cruise with Carnival, a few weeks earlier, we had a great chance to ... Read More
We've recently finished the 5 night Western Mediterranean cruise, departing Barcelona on RC's Adventure of the Seas. As we had also done a Western Caribbean cruise with Carnival, a few weeks earlier, we had a great chance to compare the 2 cruiselines side-by-side. Both cruises were done on our honeymoon. We can confidently say that Carnival won in practically every category. This rather surprised us, as we had read in forums online that Royal Caribbean was supposed to be the 'classier' cruiseline. Here were the major differences: Food: Carnival's food was simply amazing. I am a real foodlover, and we really could not find any fault at all with the food on the Carnival cruise. The Deli section on Carnival (where you can order things like pastrami on rye) was sadly missing on the Adventure of the Seas, and the quality of the salad bar, hot meals, and desserts on the Adventure ship was poor. The *best* dessert we had on RC was worse than the *worst* dessert we had on the Carnival cruise. It was as if the recipes used on RC were just not tested enough (the staff on RC are not allowed to actually alter any of the recipes themselves, and must follow them blindly, so they can hardly be blamed for the bland food). The night-time dining experience was a disappointment on RC. We had specifically requested a table for two, and given that it was our honeymoon, thought that surely we could be accommodated (there were very few other honeymooners on board). As it turned out, we were dumped at a table with 6 other people, all from the same family. On Carnival, we could choose whether we wanted to sit at a table for 2 each night (which we did), and we were always able to, given that Carnival has a *lot* more of them. Also, late dining on RC is just *too* late, starting at 9:15pm. Meals often didn't finish until well after 11pm. Service was also markedly slower on RC than on Carnival. Many other things (such as RC having pre-packaged butter packets, rather than Carnival's special whipped butter, made dining less enjoyable on RC). Staff: RC's staff pretty much all had a chip on their shoulders. Genuine smiles were nowhere to be seen. I actually would've settled for 'indifference' but the staff were often plain rude. Carnival's staff were *always* cheerful, and really great fun. The difference was extraordinary. The cruise director was 100 times better on Carnival. Look of the Ships: Carnival ship design was far more interesting and exciting, with each area of the ship being based around a different 'legend'. The Adventure of the Seas' design was far from inspiring, featuring bland modern art. RC also failed to do anything for our honeymoon, even though our booking agency informed them about it. I asked them at the end why we hadn't received any special treatment at all, and they said they had no record that it was our honeymoon. Once finding out it was our honeymoon, there was no 'sorry' or any attempt at all to make up for the failing. Carnival, on the other hand, brought us a special cake during dinner service, and even had numerous staff sing us a special honeymoon song, which was fantastic. We also met another couple of the RC cruise, and funnily enough, they had the exact same opinion about the difference between Carnival and Royal Caribbean. They also thought that Carnival was far superior. It is very unlikely that we will use RC again for a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
I am typing this from my Barceloana hotel room after leaving the ship this morning. Initial thoughts after reading other reviews is that if you have reasonable expectations you will have a good time. Ugly- friends flew in via British ... Read More
I am typing this from my Barceloana hotel room after leaving the ship this morning. Initial thoughts after reading other reviews is that if you have reasonable expectations you will have a good time. Ugly- friends flew in via British Airways and their luggage didn't arrive until Pisa. Customer service was less than helpful until she filed a claim for delayed luggage, then it got better and worse. They gave her free cleaning of the clothes they had but their insurance stinks. They will not even start a claim for her until she proves what she got from BA for delay and then proves that her homeowners insurance won't cover any of it, then they will consider reasonable costs...excuse me?! Why did I bother to get insurance in the first place? Bad- Cannes was canceled at the last minutes and we went to Toulo instead. Rather disappointing. There weeded no other excursions besides a bus ride from then port into town, and frankly I wish we had a sea day instead. We were told we could get to Marseille from there but no go. Several people got sick after eating in the port due to bad mussles. In Pisa the 'sales' people accosting you from the time you got off the bus until the time you got off. Imagine the old hey mister you want to buy a watch gag and you will have the idea. relentless and do not talk to them, not Even to say no thank you or they will hound you until the bitter end. Housekeeping in the staterooms left something to be desired. Does no one own a swiffer? Why are the attendants always watching tv when we walk by? And why is it that they won't replace the toilet paper roll when it is down to 5-6 sheets I have to? And the lak of toiletries is really sad. Dry cake soap, a very drying shampoo/body wash is the shower. No lotion, no conditioner. Frankly I have stayed at cheaper hotels that do better. Good- rooms are good sized, lots of storage. Plenty for 2 adults, 4 would be pushing it. Excursions were expensive, but really worth it. We did what they said in the brochure and more. I did Imperial Rome and Florence/Pisa and was really wowed. During the Florence/Pisa tour we were caught in a traffic accident. They called and made plans to bring us back late so we wouldn't miss anything. Meals included in both tours were very good. WARNING- when they say lots of walking over uneven services they are NOT kidding!!! Meals & Dining service- I had read the reviews about bad food and service. Food is subjective. I set my expectations for sizzler steaks house, which would be ok but not great. I have to say that our service from Joel & Milan was very good.Food was tasty and often very good. We liked fresh berries and got some every night no matter what desert we ordered. We also liked broccoli and we got a plate of that at most every meal that we shared. They knew our names and drinks preferences by 2nd nite. All in all veery pleased. Embarkation & Debarkation- All I can say is WOW!!! Dang near perfect. Checked in at 1030am (yes that early) and were on the ship and having lunch by 11am. We carried our own bags off this morning and literally walked off the ship. No fuss no muss, I was totally impressed. Bravo RCCL! Compared to Disney cruises- I have only been on DCL (3 cruises) and figured they couldn't win me over...boy was I wrong. Here is a brief comparison: Staterooms- we normally get a cat 5 balcony on DCL and had a superior balcony on AOS. DCL is slightly bigger, and I still love the split baths. Also the small tub on DCL makes it easier to shave your legs (yes guys this matters) however, the shower on AOS was far roomier than it looked and my body did not constantly whack against walls like I thought it would. AOS had a little more counter space in bathroom, and the shelves were a little bit better in the bathroom. AOS closet was better in my opinion. I also really like that on either side of the desk mirror were hidden cubbies to store mode stuff like make up, etc... AOS seemed to do a better job on storage, but YMMV depending on what and how you pack. Balconies were pretty much the same. Service- AOS stateroom hostess was just average. Of course our last DCL was also just average. Previously we had outstanding service, but it seems like more cruise lines are getting rid of their really great stewards due to cost and replacing them with cheaper new folks.Our dining room servers were outstanding on both so no edge there. Food- I would say they were comparable...again subjective...DCL did seem to have more variety, but I had no complaints. Both have had winners and just ehh items. What I liked on both was the servers tellingnus what they didn't recommend and why. Excursions- I did DCL excursions in the Med and AOS in the Med. AOS' shore excursions provider wins hands down. They really seemed to care that you got everything that you paid for. The DCL provider didn't care if you didn't see half the things you were promised and when you complained they were shocked that you had a print out and had marked everything they skipped. AOS shore excursions provider also seemed to do a better job of time management and keeping you on schedule. This is a big deal to me because your excursions are an expensive part of your cruise. Entertainment- RCCL can't compete with DCL. DCL Shows are just so much better and worth scheduling your days around. DIsney knows what they are doing, it is their strong point and they beat RCCL with out breaking sweat. Ship themselves- both are lovely. AOS is quite a bit bigger than the Magic or Wonder but all are lovely and in good shape. Pretty to look at and wander around in. Would I take another cruise with RCCL? Yep, in fact I booked 2 future cruises while on board. They go places DCL doesn't and where they both go, they are a bit cheaper than DCL.Cost is a factor and for comparable experience I would rather save mine for the excursions. Hope you found this helpful!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We arrived from Malaga to Barcelona and a taxi to the Ship for the 5 day cruise, on 15th May 2010, to see what Royal Caribbean is like. On arrival we was shown to the check in then passed the sales of the drinks and passed the boarding ... Read More
We arrived from Malaga to Barcelona and a taxi to the Ship for the 5 day cruise, on 15th May 2010, to see what Royal Caribbean is like. On arrival we was shown to the check in then passed the sales of the drinks and passed the boarding photo to which we declined and boarded told that to cabin would be ready at 13:00 and told that we could get a meal at Windjammers, we proceeded to try the cuisine, which did not fail to impress except trying to find a place to sit was a task as it was for every meal time in this restaurant The cabin was ok in some aspects but things like no tea making equipment, poor balcony furniture, an odd shape bed, draws that needed the attention of a carpenter, a TV out of the arc, if they put in flat screens then it would have made more room, and the reading material was second hand, apart from that it adequate The staff I felt had an up hill struggle to impress as the were of the best quality and the food in the Mozart restaurant was 5 star The ports that we visited were Villefranche - Sante first to which we were tendered to the shore and enjoyed the town and surrounding area and the lunch on the front was very good, we decided to buy a half bottle of wine and some pop, mistake, American policy you! Will only buy our alcohol no matter the size, the best of it there was no shop on board to purchase this. Cagliari, Italy was next, not very impressed as was also the comments from some of the other passengers, and the next port was Palermo, Sicily now this was a place to take a wide birth unless you are into poverty looking streets but was clean in most parts.The ship itself was nice but it seemed to lack something to spark the atmosphere into life and the policy of the company we felt was that all they wanted was your money even telling you how to shop, and high price for the internet wifi, The difference in class in sunbathing areas made me feel like some thing of times gone by. I counted 9 nationalities on the ship which to me means a clash of type of entertainment and sence of humour. This was our first time sailing with Royal Caribbean and if this was the result of their hosting our cruise then we are afraid to say no to any more sailing with them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We travelled 'overland' from Manchester, UK to Barcelona on 18th / 19th May 2010 to ensure the volcanic ash cloud did not disrupt our flight from the UK or to Spain. That trip is a completely different story! Stayed overnight at ... Read More
We travelled 'overland' from Manchester, UK to Barcelona on 18th / 19th May 2010 to ensure the volcanic ash cloud did not disrupt our flight from the UK or to Spain. That trip is a completely different story! Stayed overnight at the Villa Emilia hotel in Barcelona, very nice boutique hotel. www.hotelvillaemilia.com Thursday, 20th May Caught a taxi from the hotel to the port 'Moll D'Adossat' at around 11:00, cost approximately €20 as the Barcelona taxis have a fixed charge, cost per KM and then extras for baggage etc. Arrived at Terminal B and joined a short line for security scan and check in. We took our bags on board with us as we just had 'carry on' size bags for the 4 night sailing. Entered the terminal and completed a health questionnaire to make sure we didn't have swine flu. Used the Diamond/Suite Guests check in line and it was completed in minutes. Passed by a stand selling the soda passes and then through the duty free shops of the terminal. Up the escalators (deftly avoiding the 'Welcome Aboard' photo opportunity) and proceeded along the covered walk way onto the ship on deck 4. Provided our SeaPass cards and passports for the photograph to be imprinted onto the cards and we were onboard. Reckon the whole process took less than 15 minutes! Proceeded up to the Windjammer for lunch. Staterooms would be available at 1 pm. Stopped by Portofino to book a table for 9 pm on Friday, 21st. Before entering the Windjammer, ordered a 5 bottle Gold 'Wine & Dine' package. Total cost $164.70 ($135 + $9.45 Spanish VAT + $20.25 15% gratuity). Took a seat in the Island Grill and had lunch, very quiet at this time. Once lunch eaten we sat on Deck 11 and at 1 pm proceeded to stateroom 7318, a centre hump, starboard side category E2 cabin. Complimentary Ice Show tickets in the cabin for any performance. Unpacked and went exploring. Had a drink in the Blue Moon Jazz Club in the Viking Crown on deck 14. Jack Daniels & Coke ($5.50 + 15%), Bombay Sapphire & tonic ($5.75 + 15%). The bar menus are from Boleros which as a bar does not exist on Adventure but cleary being used to suggest a Latin flavour for the large number of Spanish guests on board. Attended the Diamond event for pre-dinner drinks, held each night from 5 pm - 8:30 pm in the '19th Hole' on deck 14. Similar location to the Diamond lounge found on the Freedom class ships, so nice sea views, especially as sunset wasn't until around 9 pm. Free wine, champagne and fountain sodas available, 20% discount on cocktails and beer. Very quite most nights but we were well looked after by Bryan. We had pre-booked 8:30 pm for My Time dining. This was on deck 5 in the Mozart dining room. Got a table for 2 as requested which was on the balcony area of the dining room overlooking decks 3 & 4. Food was good, and the waiter and assistant waiter excellent. Attended the Ice show in Studio B 'Cool Art Hot Ice' and it was enjoyable. Visited Jesters night club, we've never seen a club onboard so busy, the bar staff couldn't cope, so many people wanting drinks. Went up to Blue Moon on deck 14, again absolutely packed, no space on the dance floor and again the bar staff struggling to cope with demand. The theme was Latin, Salsa, Merengue catering for the very large Spanish contingent onboard. Same in the 19th Hole, very busy with people wanting serving. Friday, 21st May Arrived in 'Toulon' at 7 am. Actually docked at La Seyne-sur-Mer which is 6 miles from Toulon and to get there you had to purchase a shuttle ticket costing $6 per person each way, so $24 for a two person round trip from Explorations on deck 5 next to Guest Relations. We were invited to have daily full service breakfast with speciality coffees in the 'La Notte' dining room on deck 3 as Diamond members. It was very quiet but enjoyable. The shuttle organisation was chaotic with people who had not purchased tickets allowed to pay on the dock and then push in the lines with those who had paid waiting to board a bus. The trip took approximately 35 - 45 minutes due to the appalling traffic. We were dropped off at the ferry terminal and told buses returned to the ship every 30 minutes. Toulon was interesting to see, especially the market, but that's about it. Went to catch a shuttle back, no driver to be seen. Finally boarded the 3 bus that had dropped people off, again total chaos. Return trip seemed to take even longer due to the volume of traffic. Went back onboard to have lunch at Johnny Rockets. Good as usual, no lines so seated immediately. No dancing from the staff though! Departed from La Seyne Sur-Mer at 6 pm. Complimentary petit fours delivered to the cabin, I presume for Diamond members and up (no reason provided) on formal night. Dined at Portofino at 9 pm, dress suggestion was smart casual even though it was Formal Night. Excellent, ate too much as usual. Staff very attentive. Saturday, 22nd May Went for breakfast to the Windjammer today and found they served 'English' back bacon and sausages, fantastic! Basically a sea day until arrival in Ibiza at 4:30 pm. As a result it was very busy again on the pool decks, but we found a nice spot in the Solarium near the pool. Once again a shuttle was needed to get from the dock which looked fairly new and was located near the Botafoch Marina. The port of Ibiza was very busy with ferries from other parts of Spain as well as regular services to the neighbouring island of Formentera. Left the ship to catch the shuttle to the Formentera ferry terminal which is just outside the old town. Trip only took a few minutes. Spent an hour or so exploring the 'D'Alt Vila' of Ibiza, the old walled town that is approached by an imposing archway up a ramp. Returned to the ship for pre-dinner drinks and dinner. Had the Cops Grille steak available on the MDR menu, excellent ($14.95 which includes 15% gratuity + 7% Spanish VAT). Then we headed back out to Ibiza town via the shuttle for a few drinks. Sunday, 23rd May Breakfasted again in the Windjammer and found a table easily. Went for a walk from the dock to the marina and then to Talamanca which is the resort in the next bay from where the ship docks. Headed back to try and find a spot on the pool deck, this proved really difficult and again the chair hogs out in force. Went to Windjammer for lunch at 1:30 pm and gave up trying to find a table, it was so busy as the MDR was closed whilst we were in port. Returned at around 2 pm and eventually grabbed a table for 2 as two people got up to leave. I requested a bottle of wine from our 'Wine & Dine' package but my first request was denied as the MDR was closed even though there is a bar in the Island Grill. I approached a senior dining room attendant and asked again. She initially said it was not possible as the MDR was closed, but I insisted as it was a 'Wine & Dine' package and I was dining. She consulted with someone else and he said it was possible. She got the wine from Portofino next door. Registered my $10 internet credit with Guest Relations, set up a username and password in the internet cafe and then tried to use the Wi-Fi hotspot in Cloud 9 on deck 14. This was not working; the ship is not fully equipped with Wi-Fi so it is not possible to connect from your stateroom. The only locations are Cloud 9 (deck 14), Conference Centre (deck 2), Royal Promenade (Cafe Promenade, deck 5) & Solarium (deck 11). We set sail from Ibiza at 3 pm towards Barcelona. We went to watch the Farewell Show in the Lyric theatre and then to our final dinner in the MDR. Monday, 24th May We docked in Barcelona in the early morning and although as Diamond Members we had been given one of the first coloured tags for early disembarkation, we stayed onboard and had breakfast in the Windjammer as we were taking our own luggage off. We could have waited in the Mozart dining room reserved for Diamond members, but we stayed in the cabin until about 8:30 am. Checked out our formal 'informal' photographs from the previous evening, but didn't purchase any as they are not worth the $19.95 + VAT IMHO. We strolled around the pool deck and saw MSC Splendida dock behind us, Nautilus in front and Oceana beyond that. It was a busy day in the port of Barcelona. We left the ship around 8:45 am, no lines for exiting the ship, strolled through the terminal and out to get a taxi to our post cruise hotel and waited all of 5 minutes before being on our way. Highlights Adventure of the Seas is a great ship, and in good condition. Unobtrusive stateroom attendant, but thorough and the cabin was spotless. Good food in the MDR, excellent in Portofino. A large variety of food available in the Windjammer. Strong alcoholic drinks (now into Lava Flows!) Attentive staff Great service, especially in Portofino Very easy to check in and board and also when disembarking. Great snacks at the Cafe Promenade (Brownies to die for!). Lowlights Chair hogging. Chaotic shuttle organisation. Aquariums in the Lobby Bar not illuminated, look a bit delapidated. Shuttle from La Seyne Sur-Mer (cost and length of time taken to get to Toulon) Lack of choice of shore excursions in Ibiza. General Store does not sell duty free liquor or cigarettes due to Spanish law and is now the '$10 store' Spanish VAT of 16% on shop purchases, 7% on all bar sales and cover charges for Johnny Rockets and Portofino. Key Staff Captain Ole-Johan Gronhaug Mercedes LaFuente - Cruise Director Melissa Broome - Loyalty Ambassador Sample Prices Chops Grille Steak $13.00 ($14.95 on the menu, includes 15% gratuity) Mojito $6.00 20oz Draft Beer $5.95 Seattle's Best Latte $2.75 Budweiser (bottle) $4.25 House Brandy $4.75 Portofino cover charge $20.00 ($21.40 per person due to Spanish VAT at 7%) Jack Daniels & Coke $5.50 Bombay Sapphire & Tonic $5.75 8" x 6" photo $9.95 each, plus $1.59 Spanish VAT (16%) Cosmopolitan $9.25 Mango Lava Flow $6.75 Lava Flow $7.00 Glass of wine $7.00 and up All the above except where stated attract an additional 7% Spanish VAT, plus 15% Gratuity. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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